(Reuters) - Times look set to get tougher for the unemployed in Florida and the grim outlook has nothing to do with Friday's bleak U.S. jobs report.
It's because Florida is doubling down on revised procedures, introduced last year under Republican Governor Rick Scott, that workers' rights groups say have made it more difficult for Floridians to access unemployment benefits.
The state, already saddled with what critics describe as an increasingly frayed social safety net, ranks among the stingiest in the country when it comes to providing jobless benefits for the unemployed.
The changes under Scott include an online-only application process, since the option of applying for compensation by telephone has been eliminated. And there is also a requirement that applicants complete a 45-question online exam that tests reading, math and research skills.